Interactive CD-ROM for HIV Risk Negotiation

Period of Performance: 04/01/2006 - 03/31/2007

$464K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Personal Improvement Computer Systems
Reston, VA 22091
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Summary The purpose of this project is to further develop and evaluate an interactive multimedia program designed to provide young women with training and practice in negotiating sexual interactions. This product presents users with simulated scenarios of sexual interactions in a comic strip format and allows the user to make choices to determine the outcomes of the scenarios. For Phase I, we conducted qualitative interviews (n = 18) with young women between the ages of 18 and 24 to explore the common sexual situations experienced by these women. We then developed the fully functional program and built one scenario. The content for this scenario was developed based on constructs from cognitive theories applied to HIV prevention as well as the qualitative interviews. We assessed the usability and feasibility of the prototype in a small trial (n = 53). The response to the program was very positive and we met all usability and feasibility criteria. Specific aims for this Phase II project are as follows: 1) Expand and further develop the SafeSexGirl prototype based on Phase I results; 2) Collaborate on design and content with a group of HIV prevention experts; 3) Develop the full program: "SafeSexGirl: Version for Women ages 18-24" which will include four scenarios and four main user-characters as well as additional features; 4) Perform iterative program testing and debugging of the program; 5) Recruit 300 women ages 18-24 to conduct a randomized control trial to compare outcomes between a treatment group and a comparison group; Relevance- Young women are at increasing risk of contracting the HIV virus due to their physiological makeup as well as their lack of knowledge and skills regarding initiating and negotiating safer sex practices. This product will be designed to provide the knowledge and skills for young women to safely and effectively negotiate their sexual interactions to reduce their risk of HIV/STD transmission as well as unintended pregnancies.